Currently, there is an urgent need to integrate computational thinking and computer science in the classroom and in after school settings. Recently, the DIY/Maker movement has become a force in creating new learning spaces to foster innovation and creativity, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.
This research contributes to the growing movement of educators and designers who are reimagining what circuits and computers can look like and seeks to function as a medium to transform populations of learners and educators into Makers who can find application of their learning above a textbook and beyond a traditional classroom.
BOXES (Building Open Expandable Electronic Systems) is a workshop that introduces educators to a new approach to teaching and learning computational thinking and STEM concepts through craft. Participants collaborate to make “soft”, flexible circuits out of paper, conductive copper tape, and LEDs. Weaving traditional craft techniques with smart materials creates new points of entry that blur the boundaries between craft and computation, low and high technology, and art and computer science.